4. Complete review and survey

There are two tools in Caring for the Paramedic Community:

Psychosocial Survey of Paramedic Organizations (PSPO)

The PSPO is a brief, voluntary, confidential, online survey asking all workers in a PSO to provide their perspective on the fifteen psychosocial factors within their particular workplace. The items are based on the recognition that PSO workers have unique and valuable perspectives based on their experience in their position and work environment. The survey also recognizes that workers at all levels in a PSO are involved in decisions that impact the provision of care, whether it is delivered directly to patients or indirectly through management, administrative and other support services.

The survey is intended for all workers within a PSO, including paramedics, communication officers and administrative staff. It contains statements about common paramedic work experiences. The items cover a range of topics including responsibilities, supports, relationships and leadership. All respondents are asked about their level of agreement with fifty-one items that measure each of the fifteen factors. Communications officers and paramedics are asked fourteen additional questions that are relevant to their particular experiences. These are not included in the psychosocial factors. The PSPO is not a measure of stress, distress or mental health. No individual identifying information is asked. Survey results are analyzed and reported in an aggregate form.

The PSPO is implemented by an individual or committee, designated by the PSO, who is provided with the necessary knowledge, time and authority to conduct a survey. It can be useful to target communication and provide dedicated access for these personnel.

Organizational Review for Paramedic Organizations (ORPO)

The ORPO is an organizational self-assessment tool. It is designed to determine the status and progress of your PSO in creating and sustaining a psychologically healthy and safe workplace. The results of your ORPO, in conjunction with the Psychosocial Survey of Paramedic Organizations, will form the basis for assessing your current status with respect to the psychological health and safety of workers within your PSO and help you assess your progress as you take action to improve.

The ORPO is completed by a key informant, designated by the paramedic organization, who is provided with the necessary time, support, authority and access to information. In smaller organizations, work units or departments there may be easy access to relevant information and the worker-person may be able to complete this alone, though it can still be beneficial to consult with others who may have additional input. In larger organizations, it will be important to consult with other key personnel individually or collectively to gather relevant information. This should include input from senior management and employee group representatives for the organization.

The ORPO begins with a self-assessment of 15 psychosocial factors that impact psychological health and safety of paramedic workers. The ORPO then asks about key organizational performance indicators and actions (programs, policies and practices) that are relevant to psychological health and safety within PSOs. Organizations are encouraged to identify indicators or actions that are not included in these lists. Finally, the ORPO provides questions for further consideration and suggestions for sustaining progress. It may be completed for the organization as a whole or for a particular department or work area.